Tokyo Revengers Life Lessons
Warning: Tokyo Revengers spoilers ahead.
Calling all fans of action anime like Attack on Titan and Jujutsu Kaisen, Tokyo Revengers is a new anime with violence and heart-tugging scenes that will hit you right in the feels. The story follows protagonist Hanagaki Takemichi, who discovers that his ex-girlfriend from middle school Hina, and her brother Naoto, died in a car crash. The siblings were caught in the middle of a fight from one of the largest gangs in Tokyo, Tokyo Manji Gang, a.k.a. Toman.
After being pushed in front of a moving train, Takemichi suddenly transports 12 years back in time. Realising that he now has the power to change the future, he saves Naoto from his death. The pair then come up with different plans to save Hina, resulting in a variety of alternate timelines.
Not everyone can get a second shot in life to change the future, which is what makes the plot of Tokyo Revengers so thrilling. From watching Takemichi grow as an individual to simping for Toman’s leader Mikey, let’s take a look back at season 1 and discover some life lessons we can apply to real life.
1. When life gives you a second chance, don’t waste it
Takemichi standing up against Kiyomasa
When Takemichi first discovered he could travel back in time, he determinedly promised Naoto that he would change the future and save Hina. However, after getting beaten up badly by Kiyomasa, he cries and says that the mission is simply “impossible”.
Takemichi then remembers how he was living pathetically back in his life from the future. Because he spent the rest of his school days being Kiyomasa’s slave and running away from his problems, he never grew as an individual.
This realisation was a wake-up call for him and he decided “I have to change, or nothing else will”. Thus, when his friend Takuya was about to be beaten up, Takemichi boldly stepped up to challenge Kiyomasa so that Takuya could be saved.
Through Takemichi’s self-reflection on this rare opportunity to change his life and how he was about to give up so easily, he eventually faced his bully and stopped running away.
He showed us that in order to change the future, you have to change yourself first. Getting a second shot in life isn’t something that anybody can have, so it’s only right to not waste it.
2. Protect the ones you love no matter what
Hina slapping Mikey across his face
Hina might not be a main character, but she definitely showed us that she’s more than just Takemichi’s girlfriend. Despite knowing that Takemichi is a delinquent who gets into fights often, she promised to protect him no matter what.
When Mikey and Draken, Toman’s second-in-command, came to grab Takemichi from his class, Hina didn’t hesitate to walk up to Mikey and slap him across his face. Much to everyone’s shock and horror, Hina held Takemichi’s hand and led him away.
Hina pulling Takemichi away from Mikey
Takemichi noted that Hina was trembling despite putting up such a bold front. This small action revealed that she was actually afraid — after all, not everyone can slap a biker gang leader in the face and still survive.
Hina teaches us that even though she saw herself as “just a girl” who can’t fight like boys, she isn’t afraid to risk her life for the people she loves.
3. Crying is a sign of strength, not weakness
Akkun’s last words to Takemichi before committing suicide
Throughout the whole season, Takemichi cries a lot. We’re pretty sure there isn’t an episode where he doesn’t cry. He cries whenever he feels like giving up, or when he expresses fear for an undesirable future that he knows will happen. Of course, he constantly gets teased for it, but his crying also became a sign of strength instead of weakness.
In the first timeline where Akkun commits suicide, his last words to Takemichi was how he saw him as a “crybaby hero” he looked up to. When they were younger, Akkun realised that Taemichi would cry but still picked himself back up and “held his ground” — an admirable trait that earned his respect.
4. “We’ll deal with our problems in our own world”
Draken forcing Mikey to bow down at the hospital
After Pah found out that his friend’s girlfriend was gang raped and beaten up by another gang called Moebius, Toman declared war on them. But when Mikey and Draken went to the hospital to visit her, the girl’s parents assumed that they were responsible for their daughter’s state.
Mikey angrily tried to retaliate, but Draken pushed his head down to apologise, even though it wasn’t their fault. Quietly, he tells Mikey, “you don’t have to bow your head, just have a heart that cares for others. We’ll deal with our problems in our own world”.
From this scene, Draken teaches Mikey to lower his ego and respect the girl’s parents who are grieving. Our personal problems should be resolved on our own if it can be done, rather than involving more innocent people.
5. Friends will always have your back
Mikey supporting Pah after he was beaten up by Osanai
Though he has a reputation for being known as the “unbeatable Mikey”, deep down the gang leader is emotional and cares for his gang members. When Moebius’ leader Osanai fought with Pah, Pah sorrowfully apologised to Mikey for losing.
Mikey didn’t hesitate to support Pah and firmly told him “you haven’t lost” because he was still there to fight on behalf of Pah. Even when Pah volunteered to turn himself in for stabbing Osanai, Mikey refused to leave Pah’s side.
12-year-old Mikey picking a fight with a gang that had beaten up Baji
It’s clear to see that Mikey’s undeniably strong bond with the original founding members of Toman stems from their childhood. When Mikey was 12-years-old, he discovered that a gang had beaten up Baji, who was trying to protect his bike.
To everyone’s shock, Mikey smashed his bike to pieces — an exaggerated show to let Baji know that their friendship was worth more than his bike. He then went on to defeat the gang that had beaten Baji up.
As Mikey prides himself in being a true friend who gives his all to others, the founding members of Toman protect each other too. Their precious friendship is what makes Toman feel like family, as Mikey makes sure everyone knows that there will always be a friend who has their back.
6. Our negative actions have consequences on the people around us
Takemichi scolding Mikey and Draken
After Pah’s arrest, Mikey and Draken get into a huge disagreement. Draken wanted to honour Pah’s decision of turning himself in, but Mikey believed that they could have all escaped together. Takemichi from 12 years into the future will know that this is a major event that causes the gang to split and Draken to die in the conflict.
Seeing Mikey and Draken fight in front of him, Takemichi angrily shouts at them for being selfish. The pair is Toman’s leader and second-in-command respectively, yet they don’t realise that their actions have consequences on everyone else in the gang.
Because Mikey and Draken only care about themselves, they fail to realise that the gang members in Toman are also upset and fighting amongst each other. Once again, Takemichi bursts into tears, having Mikey and Draken to come to their senses and make up for the sake of those around them.
7. Don’t compare your journey to others’ success
Takemichi crying after Kiyomasa’s gang beat him up
It’s no secret that Takemichi is physically weak, especially when compared to the rest of the gang members. More often than not, we see him in a sorry state covered in bruises, bleeding and crying. While trying to save Draken from being killed, Takemichi ends up being beaten and tied up with duct tape.
Unable to get up, Takemichi cries and says that “this would’ve been nothing if I were like Draken or Mikey!”
Hina comforting Takemichi
In his miserable state, Hina finds him and tries to free him. However, Takemichi rejects her help because he doesn’t want his own girlfriend to see him so pathetic.
Hina then reminded him that “you’re just you, Takemichi.” This simple comfort showed Takemichi that it’s pointless to compare his failures to others’ success, as he is able to do many other things that Mikey and Draken couldn’t. Through Hina’s words, Takemichi gained a new motivation to save Draken and change the future.
8. We have to choose our own battles to fight
Peh-yan beating up Mikey who refuses to fight back
Unhappy with Draken’s decision to leave Pah behind, Peh-yan betrays Toman and starts a fight with Mikey. While most of us were thinking that’s it for Peh-yan, Mikey surprisingly didn’t resist or retaliate.
Instead, Mikey revealed that the decision to leave Pah behind was very painful to him too. He tells Peh-yan to “hit me until you’re satisfied” because he doesn’t want to fight with the members of Toman, his family. Upon hearing Mikey’s words, Peh-yan cries and realises that Mikey was also suffering despite his strong front.
Mikey could have easily killed Peh-yan for betraying the gang, but he taught us that we have to choose our own battles and not barge head-on into every problem without seeing the bigger picture.
9. Even the strongest people have their moments of weakness
Mikey reassuring everyone that Draken is fine
Despite Takemichi’s efforts to save Draken, he still ended up having a cardiac arrest and was sent to the emergency room. Toman members began to panic, especially Takemichi, who knew that Draken’s death will result in Mikey’s drastic change in the future.
Amidst the chaos at the hospital, Mikey reassured everyone with a smile that Draken wouldn’t die so easily since “he promised that we’d rule the world together”. He calmed everyone down by reminding them that there’s no use fretting when there’s nothing anybody could do then.
Mikey crying at the back of the hospital alone after Draken’s condition stabilised
When Draken’s condition finally stablised, the entire Toman gang gathered outside the hospital to celebrate. However, Takemichi realised that Mikey was nowhere to be found.
Searching at the back of the hospital, Takemichi finds Mikey crying in relief all by himself. While Mikey always has to stand strong and upload himself as a leader, this scene showed us that he has his weak moments too.
10. Our words have the power to inspire others
Takemichi charging towards Valhalla
In the battle between Toman and Valhalla, Toman was losing since they only had 150 men as compared to 300 in Valhalla. Outnumbered and beaten badly, majority of Toman’s members were ready to admit defeat.
On the other hand, Takemichi, who was badly bruised, remembers that he’s currently in another big event that will change the future. Desperate to defeat Valhalla, he screams and charges towards them, yelling “I’ll crush all of you!”
From his words and actions, the Toman members began to feel ashamed for complaining. Much to Draken’s surprise, Takemichi’s sudden outburst inspires them to fight on. When times are tough and things may seem like they’re not going well, it’s our words that have the power to inspire others more than we think.
11. Forgive others even if they have hurt you
Mikey reflecting at Baji’s grave
When Kazutora was first introduced, his crazy and violent personality seemed like nothing but bad news. But after watching more and finding out his past, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for him.
Kazutora suffers from the emotional trauma of accidentally killing Mikey’s brother in an attempt to steal a birthday present for Mikey. His innocent desire to make his friend happy as a kid had led to unfortunate circumstances.
From Takemichi’s future, a major event that changed Mikey’s life was when he killed Kazutora as revenge. However, Mikey gained no satisfaction from this murder and spiralled down to become evil.
Draken telling Kazutora that Mikey forgives him
In order to prevent that future, Mikey had to learn to look past his hurt and forgive Kazutora. During a tough battle with Mikey that almost killed Takemichi, Takemichi managed to shed light on the truth.
Though it was very hard for Mikey to forgive Kazutora — understandable since Kazutora did kill his brother and childhood friend after all — Mikey looked past it and even said that he would welcome Kazutora back into Toman again. Sometimes, it’s important to forgive others so that we can move on with our lives, even if they’ve hurt you.
12. Be proud of who you are
Draken talking about his family in the brothel
Born in Shibuya’s red light district and getting a tattoo on his temple at 11-years-old, Draken definitely isn’t your ordinary school teen. During Draken’s childhood arc, we find out that he was born in a brothel by a prostitute, who then abandoned him at 2-years-old.
Even so, Draken remains optimistic and sees everyone who works in the brothel as his family. He isn’t afraid of inviting his friends like Takemichi and Mikey over to his place, even describing his room as “cosy”.
Draken doesn’t let his background define him and is proud of who he is. Takemichi realises that by embracing his past and getting along well with everyone, Draken seems “mature despite his age”.
13. Don’t assume the worst out of a situation
Takemichi catching Emma and Mikey hugging
While Tokyo Revengers is filled with bloody fights and brutal murders, there are comical episodes to lighten the mood as well. One such scene was when Takemichi caught Emma hugging Mikey and telling him she loves him, even though everyone knew she and Draken had a romance going on.
Horrified by this discovery, Takemichi, Hina and his group of friends led a full investigation to find out if Emma was two-timing the Toman leaders.
Draken teasing Mikey for hanging out with Emma
Coincidentally, Draken met them while the gang was following Mikey and Emma into a cafe. Takemichi breaks down and panics, declaring that this will be the end for Toman if the best friends were to fight over a girl.
However, Draken breaks the silence by teasing Mikey and asking “you’re hanging out with your little sister on her birthday?”
Though it was a funny episode that revealed that Emma was actually Mikey’s half-sister, it also taught us not to assume the worst out of a situation without clarifying the facts first.
14. Pursue your passions with no regrets
Mitsuya in his school’s sewing club
As a strong and charismatic captain of the 2nd division, nobody would expect Mitsuya to commit to both a biker gang and his school’s sewing club at the same time. Underneath his bleached hair and piercings, Mitsuya also shows us that we shouldn’t judge people by their appearances.
Takemichi feeling respect for Mitsuya in school
Seeing how he’s living his life to the fullest as the president of his school’s sewing club and a gang leader, Mitsuya reminds us that we should pursue all our passions with no regrets.
15. Share your troubles with the people who are there for you
Takemichi and Chifuyu being held hostage by Kisaki in the future
While friendship remains a big theme in Tokyo Revengers, some of the characters go the extra mile to protect their loved ones. This includes struggling alone and suffering in silence.
The season finale ended with a new future where Takemichi successfully became Toman’s 3rd division captain with Chifuyu as his vice-captain. However, they were captured by Kisaki and faced a dangerous situation. Right before Kisaki shot Chifuyu in the head, Chifuyu reveals that he was trying to avenge Baji by taking down Kisaki all by himself.
Baji’s last words to Takemichi and Chifuyu
This scene reminded us of Baji’s last words to Takemichi and Chifuyu — “I wanted to figure out something on my own”. While Baji suffered alone in an attempt to take down Kisaki, this stubbornness eventually led to his death.
The cycle eventually repeated itself in Takemichi’s new future. Baji and Chifuyu’s tragic deaths taught us that there’s no need to carry a heavy burden on your own. Share your troubles with your peers who are there for you, and hopefully a new solution can be worked out instead.
Tokyo Revengers Teaches Us The Beauty Of Friendship Amidst The Violence
As the screen blacked out and a loud gunshot declared the end of the season, we’re left with so many unanswered questions. Why did Kisaki call Takemichi “my hero” before attempting to kill him? Did Takemichi get shot? What happened to Mikey in this new future? Where are Hina and Naoto now?
With this huge cliffhanger, Tokyo Revengers fans can’t help but wish that the next season will arrive ASAP. While it’s safe to say that we can expect more fights, violence and evil, Tokyo Revengers also showed us the beauty of strong friendships and loyalty within the Toman gang.
All images courtesy of 4anime.